Archived press release
Press & Media

Almost two thirds of young people believe we aren't doing enough to tackle climate change, a new survey reveals today (6 November) [1]. Friends of the Earth polled 1000 young people asking them for their view on climate change as part of a Shout about climate solutions week from 6 - 10 November. This nationwide week of activity will see some 1800 schools and youth groups working on projects ranging from making mini wind turbines to carrying out their own school energy audit.

The poll of one thousand 8 - 14 year olds also found that young people are becoming increasingly concerned about the dangers of climate change, with 75 per cent saying they were worried about the impacts of climate change compared to just 60 per cent of respondents in a similar poll conducted last year. The survey also showed that over half of young people had talked about climate change with their parents and that many young people have taken action to save energy at home and at school. Fifty seven per cent said they made sure they turned their computer, stereo or TV off when not in use rather then on stand by, and 60 per cent make sure they turn the lights off when they leave a room.

Shout about climate solutions week offers teachers and youth leaders a fun and engaging way of exploring the issue of climate change, and how to tackle it with young people. As part of the week schools and youth groups also have the chance to win a wind turbine worth over £1500.

Some of the activities being organised across the country include:

  • Nottingham - students will be designing and making their own mini wind turbines

  • Surrey - pupils have formed their own climate change group. They will be launching the group's website during the week and producing stickers for light switches and computer rooms in the school to encourage people to switch them off when not in use.

  • Manchester - young people will be keeping a day in the life diary of their own, their families and their schools energy and water use and looking at ways to reduce it.

  • Yorkshire - students are conducting an audit of a new school building which is under construction - they will be making proposals to the school and to the school governors on measures to make the a new school building energy efficient.

  • London - pupils are running after school cinema screenings and debates on the issue of climate change. They will also be offering a half day's worth of administrative assistance to teachers who travel into school by bike, bus or train instead of driving.

  • Dorset - young people will be running classes on climate change for local primary schools. They will also be working with musicians to write a song about climate change which they will be performing during the week.

To help teachers and pupils get the most out of the week, Friends of the Earth has produced The Shout about climate solutions pack. This resource contains easy-to-use information on climate change and is packed with activities designed to bring the issue to life in the classroom. It is designed for use with young people between the ages of 11 and 13 and is linked to the National Curriculum in the areas of science, CDT, mathematics, geography and citizenship.

Friends of the Earth Youth and Education co-ordinater, Vicki Felgate:

"Young people will have to live with the consequences if we fail to take action on climate change, so it's important we take their views into account. Many young people are worried about how climate change will affect the world and many think not enough is being done to keep temperatures below danger levels. Shout about week aims to help young people explore the climate solutions that, if implemented, could keep temperatures in check."

Notes

More information is also available at: www.foe.co.uk/learning/shout_about

[1] The online opinion poll of 937 young people between the ages of 8 and 14 was carried out by 72 point. Participants were asked four questions outlined below. Results are also available broken down by gender and by UK regions.

You may have heard about climate change in the news. Are you worried about how this will affect the world when you are older?

Very worried: 16.35 per cent

A little bit worried: 58.65 per cent

Not very worried: 13.46 per cent

Not worried at all: 4.81 per cent

Don't know: 6.73 per cent

What we do about climate change now will make a difference to the world that you have to live in when you grow up. Do you think we are doing enough about climate change?

Yes: 12.50 per cent

No: 63.46 per cent

Don't know: 24.04 per cent

Using less energy can help to tackle climate change? Do you ever do any of these energy saving things at home or school?

Put a jumper on instead of turning the heating up: 47.62 per cent

Walk or cycle instead of getting a lift: 49.52 per cent

Make sure the TV, computer, DVD or stereo is off when it's not in use - and not left on stand-by: 57.14 per cent

Unplug mobile or I-pod chargers when they are fully charged, so they don't keep using up electricity: 38.10 per cent

Make sure switch lights off when you leave a room: 60.95 per cent

Avoid leaving fridge door open for too long: 58.10 per cent

Have a quick shower instead of a bath: 52.38 per cent

Do your mum and dad ever talk to you about climate change?

Yes: 51.92 per cent

No: 48.08 per cent

If you're a journalist looking for press information please contact the Friends of the Earth media team on 020 7566 1649.

 

Published by Friends of the Earth Trust